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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Fair Play passes
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano
The Fair Play Austin political action committee announced Monday that it would not be supporting Proposition A as it is written. The PAC, which was funded by Bobby Epstein, the chairman of Circuit of the Americas, circulated a petition calling for voter approval of the McKalla Place deal. City Council approved the ballot language for that validated petition at its last meeting, prompting Fair Play’s statement. It reads, “In its current condition, passing Proposition A would do more harm than the good intended when we initially supported it. Given how far the ballot language has drifted from its original intent to give voters a say on whether the City should give away valuable land and waive property taxes, Fair Play Austin PAC will not undertake any effort to support the passage of Proposition A.”
The ballot language approved by Council reads:
Shall a city ordinance be adopted that requires that a sale, lease,
conveyance, mortgage, or other alienation of City-owned land for any existing or
future youth, recreational, or professional sports facility or any existing or future
entertainment facility be approved by a supermajority vote of council (9 of 11
members) and also be approved by the voters at an election for which the City must
pay; requires that any site development permits and variances related thereto be
approved by a supermajority vote of council (9 of 11 members); requires that site
development permits and variances related thereto be approved by the voters at an
election for which the City must pay, if the sale, lease, conveyance, mortgage, or
other alienation of City-owned land for the facility has not already obtained voter
approval; requires that the facility post payment and performance bonds and pay ad
valorem taxes, or payments equal to the amount of ad valorem taxes; and requires
that all information concerning such sale, lease, conveyance, mortgage, or other
alienation shall be disclosed to the public.
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